Scammers ask you to verify the code sent to your phone. It may look harmless, but officials say otherwise.
CHARLOTTE, NC — Social media is a great place to network solutions to your problems, whether you’re looking for a lost pet or a buyer for old furniture. It is also a place to watch out for scams.
Someone recently posted on Facebook about a scenario they encountered themselves and wanted to know if it was a scam.
They recently lost their cat and posted about it on social media. Someone reached out by text message and found the cat, but wanted to verify the owner’s phone number to make sure he wasn’t being scammed.
Cat owners only had to verify the code sent to their mobile phone.
Are there any documented scams involving targets verifying codes sent to their phones?
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Yes, there is a documented scam where the target verifies the code sent to their phone. According to the FTC’s warning, it could be an insidious threat because it simply appears to be waiting for code and sharing it with someone else won’t hurt.
But the agency says it’s a documented scam used by lost pet online markets and second-hand online marketplaces.
Scammers set up a Google Voice number linked to the target’s phone number. Google Voice then sends a verification code to the target phone. When that person shares that code with the crooks, it also provides the final key to having a Google Voice number associated with the targeted device.
That Google Voice number can be used to commit all sorts of fraudulent activities, and those activities can be tied to the target’s phone number rather than the scammer’s number.
The FTC says those who fall for this trick can get their numbers back. The agency also encourages you to report incidents.
Contact Vanessa Ruffes firstname.lastname@example.org follow her Facebook, twitter When Instagram.
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